SA Liberal stoush avoided?

Christian Kerr writes:

Breaking news from the faction-ridden South Australian state Liberals. Former minister Mark Brindal, the victim of an almighty stack in his own seat of Unley from party moderates, is expected to announce today that he intends to give up on his own electorate and contest the marginal of Adelaide at next March’s state election.

Adelaide is held for the ALP by former Adelaide lord mayor Jane Lomax-Smith – a star in the Town Hall but regarded as a dud at the cabinet table. Adelaide is a key marginal. The fact that the Liberals have no candidate there is an indictment of their utter lack of momentum under Rob Kerin, an accidental premier who has hung on to leadership in opposition but squandered the chance for a cleanout of the parliamentary party.

If Brindal wins Adelaide, the Libs may well be back in government and he will be a hero, a prime candidate for a ministry. If he loses, well, it’s a brave effort. Better than losing his preselection in a crude factional grab for power.

The Stephen Smith files

Oh dear, Crikey really seems to be offending the bruvvers this week. There’s been more correspondence on Stephen Smith and his role in the party in the west. Are we firing feuds or, given the influence a shonk and former premier by the name of Brian Burke still wields in the party there, are we running a public service? Here’s the latest shot:

“State Secretary Smith and the West Australian branch of the ALP. It was not Burke who financially broke the WA Party but Smith in an effort to re-elect Peter Dowding as Premier of what was a disgraced Labor government that deserved an electoral tanning. Smith, at Dowding’s bidding and with tacit approval of a weak and compliant Administrative Committee, spent the silver on an expensive advertising campaign because, apart from anything else, there was little or no grass roots support for the party. Smith hedged that a re-elected Labor government would receive the same financial support from the business community that Burke had initially engendered which of course did not happen as the ALP was so badly on the nose with both the general punter and the business community wouldn’t toss in a tanner… After ‘I can’t recall’ Carmen rolled Dowding while he was away and set new standards of political hypocrisy in WA, voters – including ALP supporters – rightly dumped the ALP at the following election. As Peter Walsh once said, governments usually last one term beyond their use-by date.”

The Consulting Room

Do the dead vote in Australia? Can spin doctors get them to the polling booth? Do we have electoral zombies? That’s just one of the issues our political expert Christian Kerr will be answering in The Consulting Room tomorrow. What do you want to know about politics? Send you queries to [email protected].